See this big digger?

Working its way along the ditch that was a creek.

It will be beside the house sometime  today. It will pass through, hauling slime and muck and rubbish and dead things up out of the ditch and slinging it down into the grasses where the pheasants are nesting and all manner of other creatures live. Where I work. It will be a big heaving stinking mess.  He rips out all the trees in his way and will destroy our pathway along the bank.

All along the bank that we see in the background here he will dump the filth in great uneven bucketfuls. He is aimed straight for the beavers damn of course. There is nothing like a natural made blockage to raise the ire of the farmers here.

I am going to lay in wait for him today and try to get the driver to come down out of his stronghold up there and talk to me. I am going to gently ask him to please avoid  yanking out all my trees. Not throw shit on top of the Fellowship forest. Try to avoid the asparagus. And why not a truck to take this crap away.  People throw bags of trash into the ditch from the bridge – all that will be brought up and dumped in my backyard. And I am going to ask him if he can not wreck the path that I walk when I go to the other barn every day.  Sadly, I will have lost the moment I open my mouth.

Knowing all this, I sat and watched him for a long time yesterday trying to put a positive spin in this. Trying to say – Excellent here is the problem – what shall I do.  It is true that the water will move faster for the farmers who want their land to drain better.  The Fellowship Forest is still just far enough away to survive I think and all the trees have very obvious guards on them. But losing the bigger wild trees and the milk weed is awful.

Thankfully the trees that survived the fire last spring are on the other side – so as long as he does not turn around and go back the other way – one whole side will be ok. This is good. Just not the house side sadly.

Then a really positive thing came to me. Last year one of the fellowship and frequent commenter, Pat Rousseau, donated a considerable sum for wild flowers along the bank. I had another patch picked out and was going to sow the seeds next week. But now I think I will try and work with the dense tailings. Once it is dry I will go through and pick out all the rubbish, then till it, then sow her wild flowers into this stretch behind the house.

Maybe this is a way to make a little lemonade from these lemons.

At the same time I am going to plant more native fruit trees into this space to replace the ones they have yanked out of the bank. Don’t they know that trees and their roots are imperative to movement of water and drainage AND hold the bank up – then there would be no need for a digger to keep digging it back out.  River banks in nature are lined in trees. Wild flowers for the bees and birds and butterflies – these work together to form a  critical component in a land mass ecosystem.

Anyway I cannot let myself focus on the destruction, I cannot stop them,  I have to work with the mess,  so my thought is that if I plant more trees and more flowers into the muck they leave behind; maybe when the ditch digger passes again ten years hence my forest will be so established they cannot bear to pull it down.

It will look like a bomb site for a long time though, and the nice walk to the other barn will be gone.  I am never walking it again. I am not walking through rubble.  We will walk the long way – around the road.

I thought we owned the land to the ditch, we do own it, but we own the land the digger wrecked two years ago when he dug out the ditch by the road and threw the tailings into my hay field and that did not stop them. Hugo and I spent weeks cleaning that up. They do not ask and do not care.

I am firmly told that I cannot stop them – it is the way things are done here. Makes me want to go home.

The beavers will hear him coming and escape – the men dug them out last summer and they returned so I have faith in the little animals to get clear. They will have plenty of warning. The digger is methodical and slow.  But I mourn for them already for all the animals and birds affected.

Helplessness will follow me today.

But after the monster is gone I will come back out and begin again.  The beavers and I.

Love celi

 

 

c

98 Comments on “See this big digger?

  1. Oh for heaven’s sake what a crazy world “this America” is right now. If the political scene were not enough to make me weep on the big world picture as I read your story I also wept for your beautiful land and your unabated love for it. I do not often take the time to write a comment on your wonderful, special blog but I am out hear following you and your animal family. I so appreciate your approach to life and regularly refer friends to your site as I do think what you are doing and writing about really matters. My heart is with you as the landscape around you is scarred and ravaged visually and deeply. Best, Teresa

    • Thank you – I love that you are reading. They have been clearing out ditches with the big diggers since they started digging ditches i imagine. I just wish they did not have to leave all the tailings in the prairie grasses. There is a lot of run off chemical and fertilizers in these ditches – the weeds will take off – however that might help my wild flower plan? c

  2. My goodness Miss C that sounds like an ecological disaster, but nature has a way of survival if it is not 100%devastation…l can understand your anger.

    • I often wish my farm was in a real farming area. I have pretty much clawed my little fields from the corn and beans so i am actually in their way not the other way round.. never mind – I will work with it. I am lucky in many other ways.. c

  3. So sorry to read of this Celi. I do love how you looked for and found a positive spin to put on it. And hopefully, in a few years, the wild fruit trees and wildflowers will make it so no one in the digger would even think to tear it up.

    • I may not be here when the digger comes around again – so I will never know – but even under threat I have to keep planting the wildplants and native trees – I am compelled. c

      • That is what I hope too, sometimes sowing words, thoughts might be the start of change. We have elderly neighbours who do what they do the way they always did it, chopped down, dug out, weedicided… destroyed anything with no thought. Where my response to this is like a tactless wrecking-ball the G.O. has slowly, gently opened their eyes to alternatives… some of the time. But they see over our side of the fence tangible evidence of our ways, and he’s helped them make a vege garden, lop trees rather than cutting them down etc. Take a deep breath, have your say, maybe show the guy around if he’s amenable and do what you do best ♡

  4. That’s miserable. Up here when they ‘ditch’ as we call it, they put up signs advertising ‘free fill’ – anybody who wants it can phone up and they will truck and dump it wherever you want. Many people take advantage of this – thankfully around here all you’ll get for trash is the odd beer can. I don’t need fill so I’ve never had any dumped here. Once every few years they also mow the ditches – saplings and all – but they will not touch a coniferous tree unless it’s directly in the ditch. It’s too bad you don’t have a dump truck – you could have him fill it and dump the stuff elsewhere.

    • I would not mind so much if they were to truck it away, or even laid at the top of the bank to further develop the ditch -but there you are – this is just the way it has always been done and a small foreign woman is not going to change that. c

      • You might be surprised. Me? I would march out there and see if I couldn’t at least sway the man on where he dumps it 🙂

  5. Clearly they do not care about nature in the least. How very annoying. I will be thinking of you and keeping my fingers crossed, the damage is not too bad for you or the animals or flora.

    • No. It would be very very hard to farm like this on this incredibly huge scale without having to dominate nature itself. However every kind of farming is a battle with, for or nature – even a barn is built to try and change an environment to suit ourselves.

  6. What a horror – and what a wound this digger will leave to your landscape. Why not just cut that trees but tearing them out? What a rape to the nature. They have no clue about nothing, they’re just rude.
    Isn’t it your private land? What’s his being there about? Oh my… what a mess and pure destruction. Poor you, poor Farmy and poor beavers. – Bitter lemons they are – hope you can make the best out of it to get a somewhat sweet lemonade…

    • Yes it is our land but I think there is a rule about the drainage ditch. It will have something to do with water rights and allowing access. It will be a real mess but I have a tractor and when it dries up we will get to work to turning it into a jungle!

  7. My heart aches for you to have to witness that and deal with the consequences.

  8. I’m getting wound up reading this, that digger has got my back up ore than Trump! What about putting a fence there with signs ‘ damages will be sought for destruction of the fence’ In a country obsessed with litigation it might just make them stop and think? Shame about the beavers, they are protected here in Poland which is viewed with mixed feelings depending on who you are. I recently listened to BBC Radio 4 and they discussed the installation of ‘Beaver deceivers’ in the dams that the beaver built, which allow the flow of water without the builder catching on 🙂
    Good luck, hopefully it wont be as bad as your imagination allows.

    • How I wish some of that wisdom would come down here – there are posts and things up there but I had no warning so was not able to put wires up. Also the unfinished flying fox will be in the way, with ladders and tools up there – i have left everything because I cannot believe he will actually dig his way through my land. It is only a short stretch, maybe he will go around.. c

  9. I really dislike these men and their large toys that mow trees down and disrupt wild animals habitats with total disregard, grrr. Laura

  10. Can’t you get a court order to stop the destruction on your own property – post no-trespassing signs and get the sheriff to enforce it. Just a thought.

    • It is farm land – there are no trespassing signs – he is only feet away from them now. All the land around us is rented out to someone else not mine, only this little strip is mine. And they probably do not realise – but to clear a whole ditch and leave a small part uncleared? They won’t do it. And honestly he is only maintaining an existing ditch. It is their job to do this. It is already an eyesore. c

  11. The road crew just came down our lane and removed all the trees that had any amount of dead in them in the rare event that they might fall into the road (that we clean up ourselves when it does happen) so all of my woodpecker habitat is in rubbish piles of wood chips along the ditch. Nowhere as invasive as your situation though :-(. It would be worth a shot to at least try to “dumb it down” and “sweetly” talk to them and pray upon their “hey, a pretty blond hair lady…” Or maybe that only works down south :-/. At least you have a heads up. I got caught off guard here.

    • Oh NO! That is actually worse – taking down big trees is worse. And you know me. I could no more sweet talk than fly to the moon. I have no wiles – and by law not a leg to stand on – so I am going to use this as a way to get as many seeds and trees planted as possible. We are not supposed to even mow these buffer blocks – they are supposed to be left completely untouched but i feel that this level of ‘laying to waste’ will enable me to sow all the natural species I have always wanted in here. i will be calling the council to try and find seed that i can afford. I think the environmental people will help me restore it.. i think.. c

  12. It’s a bit of a longshot, Celi, but what about putting the area (you own) along the ditch into the governmental pollinator plot program? I just signed up six acres of my land for it this year. Then you could put up a sign to that effect…..even the most hardened farmer knows not to mess with land under contract to the government. Check it out: USDA Pollinator Plot Project…there are financial incentives to do this, and they will even reimburse part of the costs of getting the land ready for use. Or if you prefer, there is a Butterfly Project also on offer.

    The local power company removed a row of telephone poles from one of my fields a few months ago. Their huge backhoe left big holes where the outriggers dug into my carefully maintained lane where I carriage drive my horses. I spoke to them about it, and they have promised to return and fix it. Time will tell, but they did seem very pleasant to deal with. Depending on whether your digger is private or agency sanctioned, you might ask around about it. Our local soil and conservation service would be in charge something like your ditch project…again, a governmental agency. Privately these problems are a lot harder to deal with. Although I have bribed my neighboring farmer with honey to stop aerial spraying of one field. I’ve learned the hard way “the way things are done here” is hard to fight, but I’ve had better luck with bribery! I hope your digger operator is open minded. You go girl.

    • Jan’s suggestions sound like great prospects if you have time to get it done. If not, keep as calm as possible for your own well being go with your best lemonade plan. My heart is pounding & blood pressure rising thinking of this situation. I remember a therapist once telling me to try to be calm & positive when I was exploding over a trailer park being dug in on a a pasture hillside as beautiful as an English down in my very front porch view. She told me I had No Control Whatsoever over it, which indeed I did not, but I’m sure that destruction took several yrs. off my lifespan. Eventually I moved away. I hope for a good outcome for you, Celi to stay & recreate beauty & healing natural environments.

      • Jan this is a great suggestion – I already plan to go to them anyway to get help with the tidy up- I did not realise they had a pollinators programme – i wonder if they do that here. c

        • As I recall you are only a few counties North of me Celi. The pollinator program is national. Google USDA pollinator plot program. They are really pushing this program and the folks at the Vermilion County office are great to work with. It requires signing a contract with the government but helps protect the land—and the bees.

          I hope you have good luck today with the operator. For the most part it is an ongoing struggle for me to deal with The Guys. Sometimes I give in and ask my brother The Farmer to say the same thing I would simply because they will take him seriously

  13. What a horror to watch, and as so many of us agree, so unnecessary. Their are those that clearly are driven to fulfill their own needs though, with total disregard for others. I hope you think about some of the suggestions from farmy members, many sound well worth trying to bring hope for the next time the awful machine is thought to be the only answer. Hugs Miss C.

  14. OH! this is so upsetting- I am so sorry for your peaceful place about to be mucked about. and I am so sad for all the wildlife and
    all the plants and trees. Shame on them not to take a more gentle approach.

    • I guess it is pretty hard to clear a ditch gently – the way things are set up with the drainage ditches they have to maintain them or there will be flooding somewhere back upriver. He has worked past my fields now and there will be a clean up but it is doable. c

  15. Oh Celi, what a rape of your landscape, and the home for the small creatures… In your position, I think I’d find the inability to change the inevitable almost the hardest thing. Such a pity you don’t have several hives of bees along there. He might pause before ripping into their territory.

  16. That’s awful! What’s wrong with these people have they no respect for wildlife. Try to stay positive.

  17. First, I must say that I never noticed your inviting words for comments, welcome to the lounge of comments. That is lovely and makes me smile. But now onto today’s posting. So terrible that ‘progress’ even moves to ditches … It makes me think of stories of how mother nature recovers so much more beautifully when it is left alone to recover for decades. And then there is balance returned. I am sorry that this is happening and ‘government’ doesn’t look first. I will stand beside you as you belt it out at that driver (at least belting is how I think it should be done in my activist mind). Your plan for the aftermath is a good one and your friends have great ideas for going forward. I am sorry. Faye from Ontario

  18. In the wake of such physical and emotional devastation, it is difficult to find anything positive, but please take heart. In spite of man’s influence, if given time, nature will prevail and repair itself. It is early, the pheasants will find new nests and the beaver will rebuild. The muck thrown on your property will become nutrients that your wildflowers will thrive in. Alas the poor trees, that is the saddest tale of all. However they will also come back. Perhaps when they do some of them can be moved farther away from the edge of the ditch so they too can survive. It’s the old story of when you are given lemons……..throw them at the driver of this horrid machine.

    • The water in these ditches does need to keep moving which is of course the objective. My trees are safe now so I will deal with the aftermath in due course. c

  19. I’m sick at heart too. This is crushing . And so hard to “make lemonade” out of it. Just so damn hard.

  20. Well, i did a deal with the man. Very nice man who I spoke sternly with last year. So, (Just for the patch of land that I own) He can leave the sludge on my grass if he leaves my trees alone. Deal. Plus he can run his machine along the pathway if he makes sure not to drop muck all over it. Deal. He will come back and level it all out when it is dry and then I will sow my seeds. There is stuff in his way so he will just have to avoid all that stuff. Now I am going to be busy in the back yard just to make sure! back soon.. c

    • Excellent news! You rock! Now you can plan to prevent this happening again. Take pictures of the damage and make permanent signs to post along the ditch. They seem to respect signs for some reason.

    • Hallelujah! To save the trees is a massive win… makes me feel so much happier. I know your pathway is important to you also, so that’s good… but my huge heartache was over trees lost. Yippppppeeeeeeeee ! 🙂

    • I was so pleased and quieted down to read your update. This has been a stressful day for all of us readers, but your determination coupled with your understanding of the background of the ditching project helps lessen the frustration. I do hope you are feeling better about this tonight.

      • You know that expression – it is what it is – an expression I hate by the way – well it pretty much sums up my feelings now. It is just the mans job and he was happy to talk to me.

  21. We have that same problem with the Ditch company…every year! That’s why I try to keep the canal bank slick and clean so he can’t do it—but he does anyway. Terry has even gone up to the office and complained. I so understand your misery!

  22. I love the rescue plans all are offering here along with your own, and hope that they will do much to mitigate the frustrations and ugly realities of uninvited predatory digging.

    I’d certainly vote for the Lemonade approach, myself. Yes, it will take much effort on your already overtaxed part, but the long-term payoffs will undoubtedly soothe the earth and, in turn, your spirits. Too bad that whoever ‘commissions’ this clearout/digging doesn’t have the decency to meet with the affected landowners and users beforehand and work out a mitigation plan in the first place! Imagine, if the price of being allowed to do the ditch clearing were to roughly clean and till in the removed soil and rubble to create a better, healthier bulkhead between the ditch and the adjacent properties. Planted with native prairie grasses (the deepest rooted natural plants on the American plains, the removal of which in the great agricultural expansion across the middle of the country was a major contributor to, if not cause of, the Dust Bowl disaster), or other native seed, alone, these could gradually become a huge protection and cleaning system for the ditches *and* the adjoining properties.

    Planted, in addition, with native wildflowers and appropriate varieties of saplings, properly placed, they could become both the healthy infrastructure and the crowning beauty of the area.

    My favorite seed source, because they provide pure (filler-free) and carefully curated seed in both single-species bulk and regional or situationally designed mixtures, is http://www.americanmeadows.com. I’ve bought from them with great success and satisfaction and trust their ethic and their product. If and when I ever have land beyond my porch planter again, I will go back to this treasured approach of creating diverse and integrated native plantings that encourage the pollinators, wildlife, and local ecosystems to thrive as they should.

    To that end, I love Jan Sheets’s suggestion of finding out whether you have access to governmental support for creating such natural systems on your property. Funding, designated protections, and/or materials and labor would all be particularly welcome assets for an independent farmer on a shoestring, I’ve no doubt, and your responsible approach makes you a perfect ‘poster child’ for their resources if they are available to you. I’d think it worthwhile to see if any local schools, scouting programs, homeschoolers, FFA, master gardeners, or any other such environmental programs might be able and willing to partner with you and your wwoofers to help create such post-apocalyptic (-digger!) healing projects—either as a one-off or on a periodic basis—in exchange for your giving a workshop or two on what you do with your land and animal resources and why you do them. You certainly have all of the chops required: along with your farming experience, you have the teaching, writing, and performance skills to create a remarkable and deeply affecting event that could inspire a whole generation of people besides just us your faithful Fellowship to respect and tend the earth and its inhabitants with wholesome generosity.

    Hope the noisy monster’s invation of your life fades into history quickly, no matter what you decide to do!
    Love,
    Kathryn

    • What a very informed comment. Lucky for me Pat has already supplied funds for the seed and I have a tractor a tiller and a seed planter. No need to get any government departments involved. So my little corner may even end up looking better. My trees are saved and that is the main thing.. c

  23. Oh YUK! We have a program here that goes along our beautiful country roads and tears the limbs from any trees that hang toward the road … tears them … twists and strips them with an ugly machine that looks like monster cuisinart kitchen blender on a mechanical arm. I cannot for the life of me understand why. They then go along and burn and spray the roadsides (one reason is the hogweed that is spreading through here … and is giving people reasons to show up at hospitals …). I think the weeds that are choking the roadsides would be less prevalent if they left the trees to provide shade and make it unwelcome for sun loving tall weeds. The one consolation is that after an entire year of waiting – of living with the scars – things tend to get covered up by new growth. But never do the big trees get those limbs back …

    • It is true about the sun. The only place we grow millions of dandelions in the path to the other barn that we keep mowed. Most weeds love sunshine and hate competition..c

    • Oh my, they have that same awful machine here. Looks like a lawnmower on a long arm! While the new growth does cover the scars the ripping and tearing serving as ‘pruning’ makes for deformed looking new growth. Fortunately as long as we keep the area of our property that borders the road trimmed back they don’t chew up the brush and trees.

  24. Men and their machines. So very sad. I’ll give you a silver lining – more steps on the longer trip to the barn……

  25. I can only imagine how I’d react to something like this. I know a few years back I cried when the arborist came to severely cut back the massive tree we have in the back garden. I do have rather mixed feelings about the beavers though… those little devils are notorious for cutting down trees, even ones you think are well established. As someone else has suggested, the wildlife will settle back in again without too much problem. The pollinator programme sounds like a great idea but not sure that maintenance of flood control measures would be stopped… worth a try though, that’s for sure. My heart is with you on this one for sure and makes me sad to think we are forced to deal with these ignorant methods. ~ Mame 😦

  26. This makes my heart sad for you. And sad for the animals. When I bought my farm five years ago the previous owners had recently killed the beavers that had built a damn and a nice pond near the back of my property. I keep wishing and hoping the beavers come back someday and reclaim the space.

  27. Oh, the trash must be disgusting. Appliances, tires…blek! Today in my own little alley, I had to pick up poopy diapers and tampons. I cant even…

  28. This kind of farming, with no respect for the land, makes me so angry. It is also short-sighted to work against the land instead of with it. Like you said, the trees serve a purpose; so do weeds — what do they think attracts the pollinators anyway? Grrrr.

      • That’s not quite correct, Celi. I found a research project (funded by ag sources), that showed that soybeans that had the influence of honeybee pollination yielded up to 15% higher yields. When I pointed this out to my Brother the Farmer, he was astonished. I said “if the bank offered you a 15% increse on your investment, you’d be all over it…..how about showing a little respect for the bees?” I’ve printed out the research and given it to several neighboring farmers, but honestly, I don’t think they were impressed. It’s very sad…..

        • Yes you are right – though if they are GM soybeans there is a discussion that the pollen is very bad for the health of the bee and is a major factor in shortening the life of the bee and his hive. The pollen in a GM plant is not the same, the seed is inert. You are right though – bees may increase the yield but are not necessary for pollination like for instance a squash or egglant or an apple or almonds. So the farmers on the plains have no need for pollinators – that is all that i meant really.

  29. This has really gotten my ire up. I am pissed off all the way over here. I do NOT understand. If it is your land, how can they do that? It’s like Horton Hears a Who. You’re the who. And even though you are shouting “I’m here I’m here I’m here I’m here” the “big” people just don’t seem to be able to hear your. F word. And yet, my good woman, you turned yourself around from fuming to action in the course of writing the post. And that is GREAT.

  30. Our local Council sends a large rumbling beast along the levee bank every year to rip out the reeds that grow tall and beautiful down to the water’s edge. They say ‘people’ complain about losing their views of the river, and that they have to keep the reeds under “control”….no-one could tell us what that meant when we asked, and even their own Waterways Management Team didn’t realise the extent of the damage, or in a couple of instances, didn’t even know it was happening. The reeds stop the erosion of the bank if there’s a flood, many creatures and birds lose their habitats…..ducks and often the nests and eggs as well, water dragons, river rats end up in people’s backyards where they’re poisoned…….people complain about the rats but don’t make the connection, and small finches, all are left homeless. I had to speak to the driver last year, as he had the beast right up against my fence and was ready to start ripping the vegetation along my land. My 94 year old neighbour and I put in a concerted effort after last years clearing to stop this happening, or at least modify it……went to every Council meeting, wrote to the papers, involved the local Landcare group……….they were horrified, most people didn’t realise this was happening. Now Council has promised to have their Waterways team check the river banks before just sending someone out to clear, and if it needs doing, it won’t be in early spring. A win for us!

    Well done on your win and compromise with the ditch man!

  31. At least it is slow and loud to the animals will scamper – hopefully in a safe direction (tiny bunnies! Maybe it’s still too early there for the little ones)
    I assume this is part of a watershed drainage system. We see periodic cleanings of natural bayou/waterways – usually before some county election.
    The beavers should come back – although it takes time to cover the scars ( and that sour stink) Nature must sigh, but then immediately starts to reclaim it.

  32. Oh that’s too awful to think about. The scars and the stink will take a while to go away but hopefully, the beavers will have heard the loud noises, have scampered but will return. I just hate to think of your lovely property being spoiled this way. My son was forced to sell his property when the transport authority wanted a part of it for the Transmission Gully highway. The road would have gone through the middle of his property – and ruined their peace and quiet forever.

  33. I’m glad you were able to talk to the operator and save your trees. Things will recover but it’s so frustrating and backward. Wildflowers will be beautiful I’m sure. Best of luck in your efforts.

  34. Oh no, can we find out who is sending the digger and talk to them. Maybe the would be reasonable? Is there a town council that can be contacted and educated?

  35. I feel your pain. It is like this everywhere. We had a similar shock when they clear cut a 40 foot swath through the woods on the Mountain Farmlet to clear the powerlines. They scalped the earth! And it is “a job to do” that keeps them plodding on and wreaking destruction as they go. No thought for beauty, no thought for wildlife, just a job to do. I can almost see the heavy metal gears chunking away in their craniums… chunk-clank, dig-clank, destroy-clank…

  36. Celi .. there is no harm in asking, and maybe this man will hear your words. Perhaps he could remove a smaller scoop .. I understand your frustration. I won’t even launch into the dumb things that happen here. What irks me, is there is never communication .. there is always an alternative way of doing something. Pooh

  37. I’m feeling a bit down on my “neighbors” as well. There are really a lot of nice people here, but these days it seems like we are overpopulated by rude, selfish people who care nothing about how their behavior affects others. About this time last year, the county sold its sewage waste to a local farmer who has fields quite close to town. The farmer, I believe, uses the human waste to “fertilize” crops humans will eventually eat. Disgusting…and smelly! The smell was overpowering for days. One of the commissioners who approved the deal told the complaining public it “wasn’t so bad.” It wouldn’t be if we all lived far out in the country miles away from the smell, like he does. I wanted to vote to change the name of the town…from Wellington to Smellington! The farmer’s only comment was how no one understands how hard it is to be a farmer these days…hmmmm…and townies don’t understand these things. I know I don’t fertilize my garden with my own poo…lol. Also, about this time of year just when it gets super nice and you can finally get outside and do things, the local farmers all start lighting their fields on fire. Why? Well, because they have the right to do it, you know, and who cares about air pollution or how many people they make sick? This is the way they want to do things and they were there first…my dirty practice trumps your right to breathe…yadayada…And then there are my close neighbors. I, honestly, have never understood the mentality of people who spray everything within sight with herbicides. When my north neighbor does it he sprays so much it stinks for a week…and he has a young son. I guess it’s a good thing they hardly ever let him play outside. Then there is the dog noise…and the guy on the corner who works on tanks, bulldozers, etc…who thinks we enjoy living next to a mechanic’s garage…and then there’s…ugh…Every day I dream about living somewhere else. All this to say, I feel your pain! And I also ache for the wildlife, all the animal life affected. I think you are making things better on your patch, as I am doing here on mine as much as possible by growing organic, and good always outshines the bad!

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